Saturday, May 31, 2008

Other news from around here:

Zap says he's going to turn over management of the Barcelona commuter train system and the Barcelona airport to the Generalitat. Somehow I think this will mean that they go from being badly administered by Spanish bureaucrats to being badly administered by Catalan bureaucrats. How about a little privatization?

Domestic violence increased by 29% in 2007 in Barcelona, while sexual assaults increased by 32%. I imagine most of the increase is due to a higher percentage of crimes being reported, but this is not good.

More African boat people: a cayuco with 55 persons on board reached Tenerife. I am tired of the international media ignoring this story.

Basque prime minister Ibarretxe is going on and on about his October 25 referendum on self-determination for the Basque Country. The problem, of course, is that such a referendum is unconstitutional, besides having no legal value. But Ibarretxe says he's going to hold the damn thing anyway, and that its results will be binding if approved by the Basque Parliament. He's wrong, of course, since the Constitutional Court outranks the Basque regional government.

For comparison's sake, imagine if Alabama were to hold a referendum on reinstating segregation, banned by the US Constitution. Or on outlawing abortion, protected by the US constitution. Or establishing the Baptist Church, executing juveniles by burning at the stake, raising the voting age to 30, or banning the Communist Manifesto. What do you think would be the consequence, whether they passed it or not?

Ruiz-Gallardon announced his support for Rajoy in a speech at which Esperanza Aguirre did not show up. Read into that what you will.

So the government polling agency CIS, and why we need one I don't know, did a survey ranking world leaders in popularity here in Spain. Michele Bachelet was first, and Lula de Silva was second. Bush came in third from last, followed by Castro and Chavez.

Spanish heartthrob pop singer Alejandro Sanz is appearing in the Spanish-language pro-Obama ad, titled "Podemos." Although Sanz is not American, of course, he does have freedom of speech and so he can say what he wants, including endorsing a candidate in another country's elections. I remember back in 2000, though, when the American singer Gloria Estefan campaigned for Jose Maria Aznar, and the entire Spanish left became very indignant at this foreign interference. So which is it, people?

The Lakers, featuring Catalan power forward Pau Gasol, made the NBA finals, where they'll play Boston. Everybody's getting all excited about it over here, especially the media, and of course 100% of them are backing the Lakers. I don't care because I 'm not interested in the NBA; half of me wants the Lakers to lose because I've never liked them and their big-city Hollywood glamour image, and the other half wants the Celtics to lose because it would piss off Bill Simmons so much. I suppose I'll be rooting for Boston because former Kansas star Paul Pierce plays for them.

The orgasmicness over Gasol, billed as the first Spanish player in the NBA finals by TV1 and the first Catalan player in the finals by TV3, is going a bit too far; he's a good player, but not an All-Star. Oh, well, he's happy to get out of Memphis, which he bad-mouthed for years in the Spanish press, and get him some media spotlight.

Oh, yeah, speaking of TV3, they've taken it off their site now, but last night they headlined their story about the "new" Amazon tribe, "A tribe that has never seen white men before." Uh, guys, they've never seen black people, or East Asian people, either. Not to mention women of any of those races. Talk about sexist ethnocentrism. I demand an investigation. Heads must roll.


Anonymous said...

Yes, if you want a badly administered, underfunded PLUS overpriced and safety free rail system, privatise it.

Please let me know if you require further information.


A. Ccident-Victim

boynamedsue said...

The privatisation of railways has been tried and has failed.

In Britain, the last act of Tory economic vandalism was the privatisation of Britsh Rail, an effectively functioning, medium cost mass transport service.

Now we have a plethora of monopolies, which are so prohibitively expensive that they are only used by the Middle and Upper classes. What's more, they cost the tax payer more in subsidies than they did when they were state owned.

Privatisation is a nice idea in theory, but it doesn't work in practice.

The Man From Kazakhstan said...

On Pau Gasol, there was a bit of a controversy in Spanish sports press and in blogland because of this article

Is the use of "sucks" offensive / provocative / mild? Does the writer make good points in a provocative way?

A balanced entry in the comments section would be

Here is Marca.

Check the comments section, of course :)

The Man From Kazakhstan said...

Blogland reaction

Anonymous said...

Britain was a soot-covered, Orwellian third-world shithole until Thatcher came along and ruined it all. Good to see that there are always a few dead-end losers who can keep up the bright face after fifty years of having been wrong about everything.

Son of shithole said...

Sooty, you're not a rail "customer" then?

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